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Women empowerment creates - An Ideal Village
Janabai, member of MAVIM brought all the women of Pondol 1 together and explained them the importance of bachat groups . As usual they were opposed by men but the women were firm and in 2003 first bachat group was established there.2 more groups joined them. Small expenses were taken care of by this bachat group. In 2 years the bachat group became financially stable, consequently which also put a stop to private money lenders.
Pondol village is situated 12 kms away from Beed district at the baseof the mountain ranges. This village has maximum Maratha and Vanjhari caste of people. Consequently there is constant bickering amongst these two groups . The major business here is of sugarcane hewing. Approximately 75% people migrate during that time. With such less income in farming , life of the farmers is very unstable there. Their financial condition is declining. Top of that the Government decided to build a dam in this village and the villagers were ordered to move to some other place. Finally in 1991 the inhabitants were vacated with compensation for their lands in the first step. But during the rehabilation the Pondol village was divided into Pondol 1 , Pondol 2 , Pondol 3 villages. But for all these villages only one group grampanchayat was established. On one side of the dam lived Pondol 1 Maratha villagers , who had their lands on that side, on the other side lived Pondol 2 who did farming on that part of the land and Pondol 3 was occupied by Vanjari caste. But this division of villages brought about a good change too and that is it put a stop to the constant bickering between the 2 groups. Since the villagers were free of addiction and mostly all of them being vegetarian there is always unity and peace amongst them . Everybody works hard for a better life!
There are 91 families in Pondol 1 village But the financial condition being poor, moneylenders took undue advantage of the poor villagers. People took loans from moneylenders in the times of need, the loan amount went on increasing. The situation went from bad to worse and this went on for many years. Most of the income was spent on paying the interest of moneylenders. Many people became bankrupt due to it and financial status declined. In the year 2003, Women’s finance development committee made an entry into Pondol village. Janabai, member of MAVIM brought all the women of Pondol 1 together and explained them the importance of bachat groups .Soon the women too understood the importance of bachat group.Progress in a village is as it is very difficult as the villagers have a very definite set of mind ,they do not readily agree to any changes ,so one can imagine how difficult it must have been for the women to step forward and change their entire look out. It must not have been easy for them to focus on their progress. The women had to get out of their sheltered life. As usual, they were opposed by men from all sides, but the women were firm and in 2003, in the month of May ,first bachat group was established there. Two more groups joined them. Small expenses were taken care of by this bachat group. In two years the bachat group became financially stable, consequently which also put a stop to private money lenders.
In 2007 , the Government in second step distributed Rs 40000/- to the villagers who had lost their lands in dam building. This money was used for the development of farms. The lands were evenly leveled, Borhwells were dug , due to dam building , there was an increase in the water-level in the land this transpired the barren lands into ferrtile lands . From 20000/- the farmers income went upto Rs 1,00,000/- With farming they also started dairies which complimented the farming business and also helped the villagers to settle in one place.Those who had wandered about now made Pondol their permanent home.MVM became successful. Under their efficient guidance women are trained for the development of the societies and also to make the village more profitable.If their village is dependent for something on some outside sources other than the village then the women have searched for options and solutions with the help of business. Women now took up the task of village development. They started working according to their requirements and for the benefit of their village. All the bsiness was conducted from funds of Bachat group. Seeing their dedication the men also offered their support to the women.
Nagadnarayan Krushi Seva Kendra:
There is always a shortage of chemicals required for farming, chemicals brought on from taluka turned to be expensive. To solve this problem bachat group invested Rs 3.2 lakhs and started Krushi seva Kendra. Now manure could be purchased at proper rate in the village itself.Now the farmers can purchase manure at a very low price from their own village without standing in a queue and spending twice the amount for it. Concession was given to the farmers who could not afford that rate. This also benefited the bachat group which was highly respected in the village. Nearby villages also requested the the bachat groups for such favours.
For threshing the crops in the farms , the farmers had to hire a threshing machine from the neighbouring villages and in exchange had to spend a large amount of money for it . This turned out to be very expensive. But now mahila bachat group has purchased its very own threshing machine for Rs 75000/- This machine is lend to the farmers at a very low rate.Within two seasons the group has made a profit of Rs 70000/- from this machine. Another feather in the cap is that it has also created one place of occupation for one man due to this.
Grocery turned out to be expensive when brought in from district or taluka. To avoid these unnecessary expenses , the members of bachat group purchased grocery at fixed rate and distributed it group wise in the village. This new drive saved around 20 -25% of money which was spend on grocery expenses. Thus the women of bachat group concentrated on satisfying their needs efficiently and promptly according to their requirements. They want the flow of money to remain in the village itself, keeping this in mind they are now planning various occupations suitable for the villagers. With the help of the women the group has launched various projects and drives such as distribution of free books for school-students, village- cleanliness, public toilets etc. Women in the village are of the opinion that due to MAVIM they now understand the importance of life and under their guidance they have now become independent. Their village is now becoming an ideal village. Their life has changed surprisingly, which seemed next to impossible. Previously women used to eat food devoid of nutrition, they were never allowed to ask for any preferences . Now they have a full meal which is surprising as compared to, only one roti and vegetable/daal. Women now come together on daily basis and have fruitful discussions over developments.They share their joys and sorrows with each other,try to solve their own disputes amicably,find solutions for their problems. Men too have formed their groups and help the women in their work. There is no gender differentiation and everybody is given a fair chance. Anybody can now take active part in grampanchayat elections.
The village has decided to launch some new projects regarding village development. Firstly Pondol 1 should have its own grampanchayat. In future they plan to start small scale industries, mills, poultries etc. Inspite of business and investments the bachat group has still Rs 2.5 lakhs savings in their account. Under the valuable guidance of Mahila vikas mahamandal , the Pondol villagers are now looking forward for their village development!